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What’s up with the bands?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W4HWD, Jun 13, 2019.

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  1. W4HWD

    W4HWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just got back on HF this week after a decade+ absence. Am I doing something wrong or are the bands really abysmal right now? Obviously I haven’t kept up with the sunspot cycles so where are we? Antenna is a multi-band doublet 65’ in the air.
    W4KSL likes this.
  2. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    At times pretty bad. Abysmal?? You can always find SOMEONE on so maybe not that bad but if you haven't been around during a sunspot minimum, welcome to bad conditions much of the time for HF bands.

    NL7W, K9ASE and W4KSL like this.
  3. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    You should’ve fired it up about 3 weeks ago. 40 and 20 were on fire.

    The past few days have been pretty tough here. Lots of noise. Conditions go up and down but hopefully we’ll pull out of this nadir soon as the sun ramps up. We’re just past the bottom of this cycle.
    W4KSL likes this.
  4. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You timed it just right....we just hit the bottom according to one report I read. It's all up from here!

    KM4FVI, WQ4G, KA0HCP and 1 other person like this.
  5. W4HWD

    W4HWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Early 90’s. That was my last solar minimum.
  6. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Try working from Fairbanks, Alaska. We're in the Bermuda Triangle of radio even during the BEST solar cycles. Right now, it's worse than abysmal.
    WB5THT, VK2WP, KU4X and 1 other person like this.
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    No problems for me finding PLENTY of contacts..... what antennas / radios are you working and what are your expectations?

    I regularly work all around the US and into South America / Japan / Russia from the Seattle area with "100 watts and a wire" on CW, SSB, and sometimes FT8 when I'm really bored :)

    WQ4G and K4AGO like this.
  8. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    6m was awesome this past weekend. Then the contest ended so the ionosphere took a break. ;)
    N8SAN, N1FMV, KG5THG and 2 others like this.
  9. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    We are at the minimum of a bad cycle. So on the one hand, this is as bad as it gets.

    OTOH, as Dave mentioned, there's always something happening somewhere. It may be a WARC band, it may be on FT8, it may be fairly domestic....but there's always something.

    You've probably heard the advice - your antenna makes all the difference. The radio matters too - if you are using a 1960s vintage rig I'd splurge and update. But otherwise I'd branch out a bit on the antenna front, and you'll find your options of when/where to work branch out a bit too.
    WB5THT and KA0HCP like this.
  10. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yup - and I had a BLAST on 20 meters FT8 on Wednesday AM before work. I'm on the east coast, so Asia isn't always in the cards for me. But in about 90 minutes on Wednesday I worked Japan, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia...and had a pileup calling me.

    That may not be what the OP is looking for, but I'm pointing out that sometimes the clouds do part and the sun shines brightly upon us. How you enjoy the sun is up to you!!
    WB5THT likes this.

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